In our Spring newsletter, we provided tips for improving interview skills through media training.

We had such an overwhelming response from the article and subsequent blog postings that we wanted to provide a follow up.  While some media training techniques can be applied to many different types of interview settings, there are techniques specific to radio to consider when it comes to preparing for an interview.
Now, we are going to take a step back and talk about some important items that can be completed before an interview takes place to make sure things go as seamlessly as possible.  Here are five tips to help prepare spokespeople:
  1. Prepare five to six key bullet points and supporting materials.  If you have statistics on local markets where interviews are scheduled, prepare and review them.  Have them handy during an interview and review them between interviews as a refresher.  It’s important however, that these bullets sound natural and not overly rehearsed.
  2. Complete a dress rehearsal.  Practice as much as you can.  Have people ask you questions on the subject matter so you can hear they way your answers sound.  Answer questions out loud, using gestures and body language that you would use as if you are speaking in front of an audience.
  3. Visualize how the story will play on the radio.  Think about how this will sound on the air.  This will help you prepare concise, quality answers.
  4. Use words that create a picture in the listeners’ mind and stay away from using a passive tone with your words.  Use active verb tenses to really engage the listener.
  5. Prepare sound bites.  Answers should generally be about 30 seconds in length, which will give the reporter sound bites they are looking for.  Less editing for the reporter means potentially more airplay of the interview.
For all of our interview preparation tips,  This Summer, we also produced a video to outline some of those points as well.  To view it, visit
In our Spring 2012 newsletter, we will focus on five or six tips for spokespeople to concentrate on for the day interviews take place.

posted by Susan Matthews Apgood